The Sapphire Princess cruise docks at Ba Ria Vung Tau port to welcome Vietnamese travellers (File Photo)
 
HCM City (VNA) - Cruise travel is growing rapidly in Vietnam due to the country’s increasing affluence, experts said.

According to Cruise Line International Association, the rise in demand for cruises is the largest in Asia, rising by 126 percent between 2012 to 2016 to 4,100 passengers.

Experts attributed the growing demand to the most rapidly growing middle class population in Southeast Asia.

A report from the Boston Consulting Group said the middle and affluent classes in Vietnam would double to 33 million, or a third of the population, by 2020.

[Vietnam emerges as attractive destination for foreign luxurious cruisers]

Talking about the potential of the Vietnamese market, Princess Cruises, a premium cruise line, said, “With the rise of the middle class, the demand for holidays abroad will also increase among Vietnamese opting for cruise travel to destinations such as Europe and around Asia.”

The company told that last year its vessels visited Vietnam 22 times, berthing in the Phu My, Nha Trang, Cai Lan and Da Nang ports with 58,000 visitors.

Seeing the potential of the market, the company this year plans 31 voyages to Vietnam this year with over 80,000 guests.

“Vietnam has become an increasingly popular destination for our guests from the US, Australia, and Europe as well as Asian countries, and cruising is one of the best ways to explore this magnificent part of the world,” Farriek Tawfik, director for Southeast Asia, Princess Cruises, said.

A report from Saigon Tiep Thi (Saigon Marketing) magazine said many cruise liners have the same ideas about the market.

Every time they come to Vietnam these companies invite tour operators to study their services and introduce them to customers, it said.

According to the report, in the past customers who wanted to enjoy cruises had to go abroad, but they can now get them from local operators.

Many tour operators in HCM City like Viettours, Saigontourist and Vietravel offer cruises, taking Vietnamese tourists to Southeast Asia and Europe, and also getting them the required visas and tickets.-VNA